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Lies and Malingering in clinical practice

Event number: 19152
4 CPD hours
Study Group Network
Presenter(s): Dr Phil Watts MAPS MCCLP MCFP

Believe it or not, people who see psychologist sometimes tell lies! The types of lying falls into two broad categories. The person may magnify symptoms to maximise claims (such as motor vehicle or workers compensation), or may minimise the impact to look as normal as possible (e.g. job searchers). It is important to know what they have done and how they did it as it can affect both treatment and legal outcomes. 

The psychologist may be working in the role as a treating psychologists providing therapy, or as a forensic examiner providing an independent examination for court. In either case, it is possible that the client may distort how they present and what may be going on for them for another agenda. This workshop is designed to help you be aware of the deceptive practise and how to find them. This includes by both clinical means and includes overviewing some of psychologist testing for malingering and general pathology. Those who do formal assessment will find this a useful review of key issues for doing a thorough ethical assessment. If your work is as a therapist, critically considering the information will be very helpful to doing good therapy.  The issue of what to do with a finding for malingerer is also discussed.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand who lies and what are the different types of lying
  • Review response style indicators
  • Review psychologist tests to determine malingering and feigning
  • Determine how to detect lying
  • Consider how to write up findings

About the presenter(s)

Dr Phil Watts is a clinical and forensic psychologist with 25 years’ experience. He is an entertaining presenter, well known to many within the profession. He is from WA but is also an adjunct associate professor at the University of Canberra. Dr Phil has recently published a self-treatment guide for men on the topic of internet pornography “IP:DIY Internet Pornography: Do it yourself treatment guide for men”. He has varied interests and has books on shared care, and giving evidence in court.


Please make sure you read the group description and details carefully before registering for a study group. CANCELLATION POLICY: As we keep study group fees to a minimum and presenters are paid according to the numbers who attend, we prefer not to provide refunds other than for 'exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances'. We are happy for you to nominate an alternative attendee or you may transfer to another study group, but only within 2 months as this adds extra admin costs. Cancellations up to 14 days prior to the study group you are registered for will receive a full refund. Cancellations within 1-13 days of the study group will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations within 24 hours of a study group will not be refunded. All cancellations must be given in writing.

Online registration


Psychology Melbourne
2/50 Queen Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 16/4/2018
End date: 16/4/2018
Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm


APS member: $110
APS student member: $110
Non APS member: $220


APS - Melbourne Branch
The Study Group Network (SGN) is an initiative of the APS Melbourne Branch designed to improve psychologists’ clinical and research skills and to keep them current with new developments.
Contact Karen Holst
03 8662 3300